Disclaimer：I cannot guarantee the complete accuracy of this translation
Encounter with Enki
It was a terribly rainy day. The thick rain clouds would not divulge any moonlight and not a single glimmer could be seen. Particularly in the midst of these dark woods, surrounded at all four sides with walls covered in darkness; it would cause hallucinations in the average man.
“That damn hunter, to steal the organs of this great Enki……they’ve got quite the guts.”
Just like what the words that were casually thrown out would imply; torn and a portion of my organs robbed. Whilst holding onto my own horribly mutilated stomach, I continued walking forward in the direction of the town. Normally it’s a place where I could reach past in one bound, but as expected, to jump in my current state; it seemed as though everything would spill out from inside me.
Together with a sigh of fatigue, words of pity seeped out.
“To the point of demanding a vampire’s organs…the human world’s gotten pretty chaotic.”
I am not a human. I am a different life form that people refer to as a “vampire”. I do not know when we had first originated or whether we were a separate species from the very beginning, at any rate, vampires have existed since long ago.
(We’ve been coexisting as is for quite some time, so it should be about time for our existence to become accepted)
But unfortunately, humans feared us for possessing physical ability superior to their own. Merely being afraid is fine. However, a group of idiots requested our extermination, labeling us as demons and bestowed the moniker of “hunter”.
Legends speak of our atrocious acts, seeing that’s the case……well, it’s an understandable situation. But I guess it’s a bit sad, we in reality――save for a couple exceptions――would never murder humans. Although we may occasionally borrow blood, to ingest enough to kill is considered to be in violation of our rules. Were a fool to offend, they would be internally sanctioned in an unspoken agreement.
From my point of view, the humans who slaughter a number of cows and pigs beyond what is required for consumption are far more heinous. Moreover, they’re greedy. And of course, tonight, while putting on the airs of a hero; the hunter would carry around my entrails. The reason is simple. There is a market for them.
(Calling it repulsive, I ain’t one to be mouthing off about entrails though)
A vampire’s flesh grants strength to others. And even more so with a pure-blood.
That’s why I too am annoyed at the sheer cruelty. Humans would periodically target even the brethren that were fully cognizant of a rule breach’s consequence, therefore being born as a pure-blood has never been a grateful event. Those bastards that boast of the pure blood’s pride are spewing fucking bullshit. If one can survive on just pride, there would’ve plenty of other pure-bloods alive beside me. Hence even amongst an already rare species, we were further hunted down as an even more exotic game.
“Fuck, my vision’s getting hazy. ……Hah, there ain’t any good woman around eh. Then I gotta……”
In a woefully unexpected timing, my knees faltered and I collapsed onto the soggy ground. And my nasal cavity was entirely filled with the scent of mud.
(Have I lost too much blood?)
A corner of my mind had pondered it calmly, but the truth is I was panicked.
At this rate, I’ll end up as the prey of another hunter.
However, neither my arms nor my legs would exert any strength in my attempts to crawl forwards.
“Haha, this sort of place is gonna be my grave……”
I murmured as I flipped myself around and allowed the harsh rain to cleanse my face. Closing my eyes, I could hear the sound of heartbeats gradually weakening.
Since this is the end, I’ve finally felt some appreciation for my body.
(This is the end eh……)
While leaving those words inside my mouth, a deep void spreads within my heart. Even in the very end, these arms have never held the love towards another; those my earnest beliefs. To rip, to tear, a cycle of slaughter had repeated for centuries.
There’s a period known as the mating season that occurs once per year for us vampires, yet during that period I’ve never bonded with anyone. If a woman asks for it, I’ll accept and at no point have I felt a yearning towards them.
……Perhaps, I couldn’t even trust my own kind. In my eyes, every other living organism besides myself were enemies. And so it wasn’t possible for them to become the objects of affection.
(Oh well, that doesn’t matter. Precisely because I have none, I could die without any regrets like this)
Haha, a burst of small laughter spilled from my lips as my eyes began to shut. By nature, everything became engulfed in darkness and conversely, I felt relieved.
Surely before long, all the emptiness and troubles of life will be plunged into that darkness and vanish.
That was the moment I gave up――.
“Please keep it together.”
Through the relentless rain, a frigid voice could be heard from a distance. Reverberating inside my ears, the sound appeared indifferent.
And so I opened my heavy eyelids.
Despite being near death, to not notice them draw this close is an embarrassment.
While scrutinizing the figure with a sense of gloom, jet black hair that seemed to melt into the darkness of the night shook my nose.
As I followed the bundles of hair soaked from the rain, a pair of purplish-black eyes flickered in front of me. Fixating on them, they smiled as if to reassure me.
“Right now, I’ll share with you my blood.”
For the sake of someone whom she holds no gratitude nor obligation towards? For what purpose?
As though to interrupt my few puzzled words, the woman immediately tore open her own wrist. While distorting her face in pain, she let out a small smile and proceeded to press it up against my dumbfounded lips.
Lukewarm blood filled the insides of my mouth. The instant it hit my throat, an illusion of heat shook my chest and trickled through my entire body.
Sweet like a sugary confection, yet it held the fine aroma of well-aged wine. However, this is merely a perception of the mind as reality would beg to differ.
Even if I was aware, that sweetness absorbed me. At first, it only resonated within my throat, but eventually, my fangs and finally my lips crept over to the woman’s wrist with insatiable force.
The woman’s skin and naturally her blood felt delicious. Merely tracing it on the inside of my lips, a numbing sensation would course through my spine.
I wish to have a greater taste of this……
An unprecedented urge bubbled up from within my chest. And at last, I embraced the woman’s body and sank my fangs into her slender neck.
The woman let out a tiny groan and didn’t resist. On the contrary, she patted my head in a soothing manner and even displayed actions that encouraged bloodsucking.
At the start, somehow, it simply felt good. It was calming. Except that gradually……something other than relief rose from inside me.
Twisting my body at this unpleasant premonition, however, the woman did not notice the intent. Instead, she pulled my head even closer and stroked it so as to not refrain.
The very second woman’s hand made contact, a chill ran up my back.
With every mouthful of blood I drank, that sensation swelled; my conscious blurred……and dyed in pleasure.
A vampire’s blood-sucking impulse is directly linked to their sex drive. Nevertheless, it could be suppressed with reason, so I thought of it as irrelevant.
To think there existed an emotion that could not be suppressed with reason……
“You won’t heal if you restrain yourself.”
Realizing my turmoil, the woman spoke with a gentle voice.
“Idiot, you didn’t need to tell me…….ha……hah…..”
I knew it was about time for me to stop, yet I couldn’t part. Rather I’d end up embracing the woman even more deeply.
(Why is it…so hard to pull away…….)
Pure-bloods were the subject of awe even amongst the same race, so it was the first time such blood had been offered to me. Perhaps that’s why……I unknowingly wanted to cry.
But when I received enough blood to allow the wound to heal, I picked an uneasy feeling. Subduing the desire to continue sucking, the woman I found at last――her face pale from the massive blood loss, but even so she remained firm and displayed a smile.
“You……why the hell did you save me?”
“As you were walking, you had fallen.”
“No, that ain’t the god damn problem.”
It was an unintentionally inserted comment and in response, the woman made a weird face and tilted her head.
While supporting the body that could crumble at any given moment, I let out a sigh mixed with astonishment.
“Sharing this amount of blood, if done poorly you could’ve died, y’know?”
“Regardless, I cannot allow myself to simply walk past the side of a fellow brethren who’s been wounded and collapsed.”
“Then do it normally.”
“Is that so? But personally, I hate being left with bad aftertastes”
“You shouldn’t be left with bad aftertastes from the death of some unknown man”
“It does for me. ……Now then, since it appears that you’ve now recovered, I shall excuse myself.”
In spite of the stagger that resulted from the bloodsucking, the woman tried to leave with the same abruptness as when she first appeared. In an unusual daze, I turned to the direction the woman was walking and rushed up in a panic. My eyes were still hazy and my abdomen was still in pain, though not as severe as before.
It was good that she stopped in her tracks as I called out, but I was lost as to what to say. No, for the time being, I should present her with words of thanks; however, the moment I was to say it……it’ll be the end and I hated that. As to why I was against it, I don’t even understand myself.
“……Why did you save me?”
Before I knew, I asked the same question I did earlier.
The woman once again put on a strange expression and then replied with a bitter smile.
“Such is my nature. If I’m needlessly caring, then I apologize.”
“No, that ain’t something to apologize for……”
“Well then, could you please tell me what exactly concerns you?”
“This is odd no? Shouldn’t you be asking for money or favors?”
“Even if you tell me to do so……”
“I can’t keep a peace of mind like this. Somehow, it makes me feel restless.”
That’s right, I was restless, my chest hot and my throat excessively dry.
Almost as though it were that “first love” I’ve heard once before――is what I thought, as the woman stroked my cheek and spoke. And without delay……
“That sort of thing is bothersome.”
“Every time I wish to save someone, must I always consider your gratitude and obligation? I cannot think of it as anything but bothersome.”
“Yes, it’s bothersome. And so please allow me to excuse myself. Ah…make sure to take care of yourself okay?”
Walking away, while still wobbling from time to time, I was once again stunned. Once I returned to my senses, the woman lept away and her figure vanished.
“……Are you kidding me, she left without requesting anything in return.”
At that moment the rain ceased and the moon peeked its face from within the clouds.
The rustling sound of the leaves and branches grazing against each other had strangely reminded me of that woman’s voice. Dignified, untainted yet kind reverberations.
That sound still lingering deep inside my ears is replayed countless times in my mind and drops down to my chest.
(That woman, one wouldn’t think she’s sane. There was a real possibility of death, yet she lacked the slightest bit of hesitation. Almost foolishly kindhearted……)
My heart ached so hard that it hurt.
In a world overflowing with enemies, for the very first time, a warm light has overtaken it.
Placing my hand over the chest where the fever has spread, I laughed with self-ridicule.
“Aah, I too have lost my sanity.”